Cibophobia, also known as the fear of food, is a food aversion that can quickly grow into an obsession. It can affect peoplein different ways. For examples, to some it’s a fear (not a dislike) of certain types of food, to others it may be a fear of food they’ve not prepared themselves and others may have been left with a fear of certain specific foods due to a historical traumatic event (choking etc).
People often confuse this phobia with anorexia, a dangerous eating disorder. But, the main difference is that those with Cibophobia are afraid of the food itself. In contrast, those with anorexia fear the effects of diet on body image. The fear of food can be associated with anorexia or bulimia. If that’s likely to be the case it needs to be checked out. But only a trained clinician could make the right diagnosis.
Causes of Cibophobia
The avoidance of food or fear of swallowing fluids is usually a consequence of the traumatic experience after drinking or eating, such as vomiting or choking.
The next cause is related to the perishable food items, usually milk and milk products. The person who has Cibophobia probably had a bad experience while eating mayonnaise, for example. The brain always recalls stressful memories while consuming those ingredients again.
It could also happen that children develop this fear while eating in front of authoritative figures, especially if they experienced abuse. Some phobics continue to confront this fear also in their adulthood.
Symptoms of Cibophobia
Living in a health-obsessed society carries with it difficulty in recognizing signs of Cibophobia. If you have a fear of food, you probably fear of almost all food, or you avoid some specific food items. People who have a food phobia deal with many physical and psychological outcomes and may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Trembling or shaking
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain and tightness
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Pounding or racing heartbeat
- Vomiting and nausea
- Upset stomach
- Excessive sweating
- Sudden inability to talk or rapid speech.
There are many issues that phobic individuals face daily, so let’s take a more in-depth look at them:
- Perishable foods. As we already mentioned, those people fear food that it’s easy to spoil, such as milk, yogurt, meats, or fresh fruits and vegetable. Their main fear is not to become ill after consuming them.
- Expiration dates. People with a food phobia are usually obsessed with the foods near to their expiration dates. They also firmly believe that once they open the product, it expires quickly.
- Undercooked foods. People struggling with this fear, usually overcook the menu to the point of burning or drying.
- Leftovers. Some of them don’t eat leftovers, because they think to become sick after eating them.
- Prepared food. They have to control the process of preparing the food. Otherwise, they become fearful. That’s why many of them avoid going to restaurants or a friend’s house to eat.
- Poor eating. Some individuals eat and drink very little, which can lead to health problems.
- Solid foods. Some teenagers refuse to eat solid foods, leading to arguments in the family. They need to eat enough nutrients to be healthy and have a great immunity system.
- Sleep disorder. Sleep-related issues, nightmares, refusal to sleep alone, and other behavioral problems are also commonly seen in such children.
Fear Of Food – Complications
Untreated Cibophobia often causes obsessive behaviors, leading to health issues, including weakness, dizziness, and irritability. Here are some complications caused by untreated food phobias:
Social stigma. You may feel uncomfortable in social circumstances such as meetings in restaurants with your friends or family, or holiday gatherings, where it would be rude not to accept food. If the object of your phobia surrounds you, you can start to cry, shake, or have other physical problems.
Malnutrition. Every organism needs a certain amount of minerals, vitamins, and proteins. If not eating a colorful menu, and refusing food, or always eating the same food, it can lead to malnutrition and other health issues.
Obsessive rituals. Some individuals with phobias create their routines to reduce anxiety, such as the way of cleaning the kitchen or storing the food. In many cases, it doesn’t help them to get over their fear of food.
Fear Of Food – Treatment Options
Food phobias can be treated successfully, usually with behavior and diagnostic tests, to measure the extent of the patient’s avoidance of the food. There are also some other ways to address this phobia, so let’s see what treatments exist:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This treatment includes talking with a mental health professional about your emotions and experiences with food. The main task of this program is to reduce negative thoughts and fear.
- NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming Therapy. These sensory-based interventions’ critical role is to change the thoughts and behavior patterns that have not proven beneficial in the past.
- Exposure. This practice brings you in contact with the foods that generate fear. It includes approaching and eating some feared foods, sitting next to the food, touching the food with the lips, chewing, and swallowing it. The primary goal is to feel comfortable with the food that makes you feel sick.
- Medication. Antidepressants and beta-blockers can also be used in this therapy, to reduce emotional responses and anxiety, but on a short-term basis.
- Hypnosis. Since the brain remembers every uncomfortable situation you’ve ever experienced, maybe the hypnosis can help it to retrain. This treatment will reduce the adverse reactions you have toward food.
Parents or therapists have to note various symptoms throughout these different steps, to make it easier for a healing period. They also have to provide positive reinforcements and to ignore vomiting, temper tantrums, crying, etc.
Overcome Fear Of Food
Finally, there’s one more treatment option we’de like to introduce/ It’s a self-hypnosis program which is proving extremely successful. It’s called, quite simply, Overcome Fear Of Food and is delivered in teh form of an audio download which can be listened to on any phone, audio device or via an app. You’re in control of this one – listen to it over and over again and follow the program in your own time and whenever you wish.
Not only does it work well but, at less than $15, it’s incredibly cost effective too. Better still, it comes with a 90 day (that’s 3 months) full, no questions asked, money back guarantee! You really have nothing to lose with this one.
Don’t take our word for it though – hop over to the official website to find out more and buy direct – links are below:
Cibophobia – Conclusion
Many people don’t like to eat all foods, but it doesn’t mean that they have Cibophobia. However, when you become obsessed with the food, and it affects your daily life, you may have a food phobia. If you don’t treat it well and on time, it can have severe consequences on your health, daily, and social life. With the right treatment, you can overcome your fears and start a new and healthy relationship with food. If you doubt you have a Cibophobia, you should consult the doctor first. Being aware of the problem is the first step in finding the right solution for your food phobia. The consultations with specialists will help you resolve the issues and face with the food that makes you feel ill.